Feb 21, 2017

Big Brother Ain't So Bad

Last week I was sitting in a school auditorium, talking with parents about the Vitamix blender. The conversation stemmed from nothing in particular, but nonetheless we spent a good portion of time discussing the value of such an expensive kitchen accessory. 30 minutes of 8-year-old singing later, I logged into Facebook and, like magic, there it was – an ad for Vitamix. Was it a coincidence, was big brother listening, or has Facebook become THAT good about serving relevant content and predicting our purchase desires? After a little bit of research, it looked like a combination of smoothie recipe likes and targeted day-parting fueled the ad's appearance in my news feed

The talk of personalization and personalized content has been around since the beginning of the Internet. The next evolution is predictive content where brands not only know who you are, but they already know you need that Vitamix.

Predictive content encompasses everything from targeted ads to recommended articles, to donation solicitations and more. It’s where brands, or anyone really, looks at available data, search and purchase history to predict and deliver content that’s relevant to you.

Brands can benefit from integrating predictive content into programs (as long as it’s done in a non-Big Brother kind of way). It shows consumers that brands are paying attention to their needs and want to make their lives easier. But what if you have a smaller budget to work with, no analytics, or a lack of consumer data? How can you use predictive content and a more personalized targeting strategy within your consumer engagements?

There are a couple of tactics that you can use:

  • Persona development – While normally data driven, you can also develop personas that are non-research based. The goal is to humanize who the end-user is by defining their characteristics and behaviors. You’ll want to change the focus from the end-product being developed to the end-user who you are creating for.
  • Make it easy – Regardless of the content you want people to view, an action you want them to take, or a purchase, it’s important to focus on how can you make that task as easy as possible. We live in a world of constant interruption, make sure that the path is quick, clear and focused. While this isn’t necessarily predictive, you are taking into consideration the value of the consumer’s time and this won’t go unnoticed.
  • Relationship building – Develop a multi-phased program that builds over the course of the engagement. Begin gathering data from the onset, then optimize over the course of a program. We get real-time data, look at it, pick it apart and use it. Pay attention to what your consumers are responding to and react accordingly.
  • Email – It sounds simple, but email is a great way to deliver predictive content. Emails can be triggered from a specific user action to deliver relevant content and/or offers unique to the recipient. They also offer the opportunity to re-engage after a program is completed, letting the consumer know that you haven’t forgotten about them and are still committed to delivering personalized content.

Here at teamDigital we are consumer focused. We know a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. By incorporating predictive and personalized practices as a part of our process, we’re able to fulfill the promise of every idea with a relevant consumer experience that people and the brands we work with truly value.

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By Nicole Griswold
Associate Creative Director

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